Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk

My son left his ex-wife and two children and is now living with someone else

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 April 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

My son left his ex-wife and two children and is now living with someone else. They have a new baby. My son has told me in no uncertain terms not to tell his ex-wife that he has another child, but I have been invited to the Christening of his daughter by his ex-wife and I feel that she should know - and that the children will be related.

She too has a new partner, and I feel sure she would be accepting of this news. Thankfully we have a good relationship, which I work hard to maintain as I would not want anything to jeopardise me seeing my grandchildren, but if I kept this secret from her, and she found out, she would be very upset.

My son said it is up to him to tell her. I can't envisage enjoying the Christening as I am the mother of the man who left them, so would it be right for me to accept the invitation?

Patricia Marie says...

It is your son's responsibility to tell his ex-wife that he has another child. It will come out at some stage and the more he delays it, the more difficult it will be. The children should know about the new baby - and perhaps hopefully get to enjoy a relationship with their new sibling. If this baby is kept a secret and they find out one day, that could be quite traumatic; they could be upset or angry with their father, and if it were to remain undisclosed for too long, they may never forgive him.

When he tells his children, to avoid them feeling rejected in any way, he must reassure them how much he loves them and that he will see them just as often. Whilst this is not an easy situation, it can be made tolerable if dealt with in a civilised manner.

Explain to your son that if you have to keep it a secret, it could damage your relationship with his ex-wife and your grandchildren when she finds out. If he absolutely refuses and his ex-wife does discover the truth, insist you were put in an awkward situation and that you had asked your son to tell her himself or to let you do it instead.
You are very worthy of the invitation, so go along, hold your head high, and enjoy your granddaughter's very special Christening Day.
Tags: Untagged

I am in love with my best friend

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 21 April 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am in love with my best friend and I don't think she feels the same way.

In fact, I think she would be horrified for me thinking as I do, as she has said in the past I am like the brother she never had. We are on the same course at university. I see her every day and we go out to supper a lot and she says she loves my company. However, she also talks of fancying the really good looking, fit guys, in our group, leaving me with a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to my body. I am overweight and she is very beautiful.

I don't want to ruin our friendship by saying the wrong thing, but at the same time I want her to know how I feel. This isn't just a lust thing - she is intelligent and truly gorgeous. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

It does seem that this girl sees you as a close friend rather than a prospective romantic partner. I would be very careful and don't go blurting anything out as she may find this revelation quite overwhelming, and also be concerned that it could jeopardise your friendship.

You could test the waters with subtle flirting and say something such as: 'Do you ever see us going out on a proper date together?' If she responds to this lukewarmly or seems to feel uncomfortable, you'll know to back off. Although it may not be the answer you so desired, you will feel lighter and happier once you've confronted this. Then loosen your ties a little and look to date other girls.

What I do very much believe is that you need to start focussing on yourself - if you're unhappy with your body image perhaps you could try exercising, or take up a sport to lose a few pounds? It would be good for your health and your self-esteem.
Tags: Untagged

My family don't care that I'm depressed

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 13 April 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

My husband has always been sympathetic of the depression I have struggled with for years, which makes me feel so tired and miserable, but my sister and brother have been so unhelpful and my mother positively cruel. It came to a head last week when she said I was just like my dad, who died 30 years ago when I was 10. I don't feel I have a family anymore.

Patricia Marie says...

Depression can be so draining. It's not just about sadness, but about feeling helpless, isolated and having little, if any energy. It can run in families, but whether that's genetic or because of shared experiences, experts can't be sure. Your father's death and your family's negative attitude may be linked to you feeling as bad as you do.

Friends and family support is crucial for the recovery and well-being of those suffering with the brutal illness of depression - indeed, feelings of loneliness can make the sufferer more vulnerable. It seems to me, your mother's anger and lack of understanding demonstrates she hasn't fully been able to come to terms with the death of your father. It may not be easy, but you could try suggesting she gets some professional help, which would assist her in understanding depression better so as she can relate to your needs. If your father did kill himself that doesn't mean you will follow suit, nor that suicide thoughts are stupid, certainly, they aren't uncommon in depression. What is a lot more silly and annoying is your families unhelpful behaviour.

Contact mental health charity, Mind (0300 123 3393; mind.org.uk), for its excellent information and help in finding good support. This organisation can give you details of their group therapy sessions, where meeting other fellow sufferers may prove helpful to you in feeling understood.
Tags: Untagged

I'm having an affair with my best friend's husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 07 April 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been having an affair with my best friend's husband since January and want to end it because I feel guilty, but I have fallen in love with him and can't give him up easily. He says he is just waiting for the right time to tell his wife about us then he will leave her.

He insists he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I have been on my own for over a year now and the three of us often go out and I have to pretend nothing is going on. I don't know if I should just carry on with the affair until my lover is ready to tell his wife, or do I tell her everything and risk losing our friendship?

Patricia Marie says...

Women tend to believe they are in love when they have an affair. Men can be more opportunistic, but women need to feel more emotionally engaged - and that can be fatal. You say this man is your soul mate, but the reality is what sort of man has an affair with his wife's best friend? If he means what he says about wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, why have you not already ran off into the sunset together? Many mistresses wait forever for their lovers to leave their wives, and when forever never comes, they are left heartbroken.

How do you know you are not just a bit of escapism for him - just a bit of fun. It may not be the first time he's had an affair and promised his mistress the world.

If your friend did find out about the affair, there's every chance your lover would go running back to his wife, and you'd be left with nothing. I urge you to find the strength to end this relationship before this situation becomes destructive. Consider shifting your energy into finding your very own man, rather than waste your time on somebody else's. We can't help who we fall in love with, but everyone is worth more than being someone's mistress.

However, if the two of you are genuinely in love, then he should do the decent thing and tell his wife, who deserves to know her husband has cheated on her and her best friend has betrayed her.

And you need to be sure he's worth it because you are set to lose your best friend forever.
Tags: Untagged

I'm a shopaholic

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 31 March 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am a shopaholic and I don't know how to stop. My friends are concerned about me, but they don't understand and are so irritating. I love designer clothes and keep ordering items from the Internet without any regard for how I'm going to pay for them. I just put everything on my credit card, and when that reaches its limit, I use another.

Up until now I haven't even considered the implications of owing so much money. My wardrobes are full, yet I crave more. Having plenty of designer clothes initially makes me feel happy and successful, but in contrast, I am actually just a doctor's receptionist and very depressed. I have recently been thinking about moving out of my rented flat and buying my own place, but not sure if I would be able to get a mortgage with my growing debt. Please advise.

Patricia Marie says...

Firstly, I commend you for being honest with yourself by recognising your spending is spiralling out of control. The traits you display are typical of a person suffering from shopping addiction, but once you gain a better understanding of your behaviour you will be in a stronger position to take control of your life again. Shopaholics often have escalating debts, stopping at nothing until matters are taken out of their own hands. Compulsive spending often results in not just serious financial issues, but relationship problems can occur, often leading to depression for the sufferer. Your spending has created the comfort you desire - filling a void in your life.

While the underlying motive behind each compulsive shopper may be different, the euphoric feeling achieved when making purchases is universal. Just like chemical addiction, the addict experiences a sensation when making a purchase, likened to the rush of a drug, achieving a 'high feeling'.

You clearly undermine the position you hold at your place of work, and to improve your self-worth you need to be aware of your positive attributes. With all addiction treatment, honesty and acceptance about one's self is key and taking responsibility of your financial situation would be a huge part of your recovery process. Confronting your creditors would be a good place to start as they could offer you a debt management plan. In addition, do visit your G.P, who can offer a health check and arrange some counselling where you would be able to explore the emotional issues causing your addictive behaviour, and assist you in moving forward to a more positive way of being.
Tags: Untagged


Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Housekeeper
Varied duties include thorough cleaning of building, requirement to provide lunches and evening meals to a high standard. [...]

APPLY NOW


Resident school matron
Live-in matron required to start September 2017 at our family run, full boarding, Berkshire prep school for 190 boys. [...]

APPLY NOW


Household Couple
Capable couple required for farmhouse and estate in West Norfolk. [...]

APPLY NOW


Couple
Our clients are looking for an experienced Couple required to look after their beautiful rural villa and extensive gardens. [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeping Couple
We are looking for an experienced housekeeping couple to manage a property on an estate in the Scottish Highlands near Inverness. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE
Lady-directory-button-NEW

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter